What is an ISBN and Why is it important?

Common core full cover front back and spineAs an author you write a  book, establish credibility and you want to be taken seriously. Well everyone in the publishing industry knows that a an ISBN number is a known constant during the publishing process.
You may be saying to yourself what is an ISBN number and what does it stand for.  ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. This is the unique number that identifies each book. I know what you’re saying. Why is this necessary if each title is different right? Wrong, many books have the same or similar titles.  The ISBN was created to lessen confusion and keep track of book purchases. Bookstores and book distributors use an  ISBN to keep track of sales and to make sure they’re ordering the correct book.
An ISBN is a 13  digit number .  Here is my ISBN for my most recent book. Common Core Academic Vocabulary Word Lists For Every Reading Literature and Informational Text Standard Grades 3-8. You can order at http://www.25dreams.com.
The first image is just a listing of the number on the Copyright page.  The second image is the number used on the barcode. The barcode is used to scan the sale. In order for a book to be store ready it must have an ISBN and a barcode. Most bookstores will require your book to have an ISBN number or they won’t carry the book.  You can have one without the other, meaning you can assign your book an ISBN number but not have a barcode. There is one more step necessary to create the barcode.  The easiest way to get a barcode is to allow your printer to print it during the printing process.  They usually only charge $25- $50.
Each version of the book must have an ISBN number
  • Paperbook – soft cover book
  • Hard cover – self explanatory
  • Audiobook – audio recording of the book
  • Mobi – Kindle/Amazon ebook system
  • ePub – for all the other systems like iBook, Barnes and Nobles, Smash Words
  • PDF – Word document to portable document

It’s very possible to use 3 or 4  ISBNs  for one title. If you know you will be publishing multiple titles, it is important to set up an account with Books In Print. This is where all bookstores go to find your books. It is literally a listing of all the books in print.  That’s why it’s best to order your ISBNs in blocks of 10, 100, or even 1,000. Keep in mind that once these numbers are assigned, they cannot be re-used.

At 25 Dreams Media, Inc, we offer consulting packages that walk you through the process of : 

  • setting up your account with Books In Print, where all bookstores and book distributors go to find your book
  • purchasing ISBNs in singles, or in blocks of 10, 100 or 1,000
  • generating unique barcodes for each of your ISBNs purchased
  • providing you with detailed instructions for updating your listings at BooksInPrint.com

When you buy ISBNs in bulk, you can consider yourself a publisher. If you would like more information  about writing a book or publishing your work please contact us at info@25dreams.com. We can consult with you on whatever your needs are.



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